Washington based DC United managed to hold Canadian visitors in Toronto FC to a draw during their MLS meeting at the Audi Field on Saturday as Wayne Rooney’s last-ditch penalty gave the hosts a vital point at home.
DC United came into the game hoping to pick up all three points and that would have helped them possibly climb to the top of the table. Toronto though, had picked up their first win in nine games as the 3-2 win over Atlanta United in mid-week snapped their eight-game long winless run this season.
It was Nick DeLeon who handed the Canadian side an early lead in the 19th minute. Richie Laryea had a massive role to play in the goal and go the assist after he had managed to go past three DC United players in the build-up to the goal. The dribble was followed by a pass into the final third towards DeLeon, who came up with a one-touch finish.
This was DeLeon’s fourth goal in the ongoing MLS season and it capped off what has been an impressive run of form as it was his third goal in just five games.
The game sparked to the life in the last few minutes as controversy ensued. A video review by the referees noticed that Toronto’s Ayo Akinola had committed a foul in the box and a penalty was awarded to the home side. But the visitors and their staff argued that DC themselves had committed a foul in the lead up to the foul that Akinola committed and that too should have been reviewed.
Rooney stepped upto take the penalty and made no mistake in drawing DC level, comfortably finding the back of the net.
This was the former Manchester United and Everton star’s second game in consecutive games and came days after he had scored a thrilling goal from his own half in the 1-0 win over Orlando in midweek. This was also Rooney’s fourth goal in his last six appearances and was his tenth of the campaign. He is also DC’s highest scorer currently.
With that one point, DC have climbed up the table but are now second behind Philadelphia. A win could have taken them top of the Eastern conference.
The point left Toronto at seventh and still in a position for play-off qualification. They are three points behind sixth-placed NYC FC and two points ahead of eighth-placed Orlando.
This draw came about a month and a half after their drab and eventless 0-0 draw back in May but the controversy towards the end made sure that it proved to be a rather different spectacle than the reverse fixture.
DC United were without Paul Arriola and Junior Moreno, who were on international duty with the national teams in the ongoing Gold Cup. The same goes for Toronto, who had key players in Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore out due to international duty.
Toronto’s next game sees them take on the Zlatan Ibrahimovic-led LA Galaxy away from home in what will be another stiff game.